Hello!! The holidays are over and I can’t thank you enough for your patience with our growing pains this year. We had our most successful holiday season to date (8 years strong now!) and did it all with one less person than usual (which meant, I worked like three people where I normally work like two). Even though the exhaustion of creating my own personal sweatshop was so intense and yes, I did cry from being so tired (emotionally, physically, intellectually..a lot of things happened in my life these last few months), I shared those moments with two people who have become so important to me. I know it is not normal to have such a close relationship with the people you work with but, working at Moop is not a normal place to work. Gena and Lexi know that. They have been so incredible to devote their days to the thing I devote my days to and I can’t thank them enough.
Now that the crazy intensity of holidays have settled and we are completely caught up on order fulfillment and slowly rebuilding our stock and making a few design changes, there is one absolutely hugely major fantastically incredible overwhelming and great change that is coming to Moop this year. We are slowly beginning to work with another small manufacturer to help build our bags. Hold your wild horses…we’re still talking small manufacturing, employing local people, working with the same local ethics in manufacturing as I have. In fact, it has been like hiring myself (seriously, we have such crazy shared life experience it is almost uncanny). These two women, based in Portland, run a small batch manufacturing space much like my own. Only slightly larger, with more specialized equipment, a slightly bigger team and with the same focus on main street manufacturing as I have worked towards all these years. Dana and Sara are like my twin brains who I get to join forces with to make our bags better. I already believe our bags are so so good. But, I also believe everything I do can always be better. I can always be better. I will always believe that and always work towards that.
By teaming up with these two and their team, I can begin offering things we have not done in the past..things you all want - like top zippers! and leather! and vegan leather! and heavier canvases and more colors and keeping things in stock so you can order and receive bags from us sooner. This decision has not been a small, light hearted decision to make. It has been massive for me to decide to collaborate with another team to help make Moop bags the best bags you can buy. I firmly believe in working within the limitations you have to make great things. I have done this successfully for the last 8 years. But, I have also reached a standstill. This past fall, when my life turned upside down, my priorities of time and family and work all changed. This manufacturing shift will help me achieve some of the work life balance I need. It will also help me to grow. We have not been able to meet demand because I can only sew so many bags while also doing everything else required to run the business (like this holiday season where we had to cut off orders on December 10th because we couldn’t sew any more bags…that was a big deal for our tiny little company!).
So, Gena, Lexi and I are embarking on a cross country drive to hand deliver a few of our heavy, customized, industrial sewing machines to Portland!!! (don't worry...we are keeping several machines in our studio because we will always make bags in house...we are only shifting some of our process) We will be documenting the entire trip via Instagram and Facebook and introducing you to Dana and Sara when we get there. It might be like sloppy teenage band photos or it might be like a bunch of hippy punk fiercely feminist independent nuts and berry eating ladies driving through the US, stopping at cheap hotels and dive bars for road food french fries and end of day beers. Or it might look like nothing but a lot of Nebraska. Either way - we are all really really excited about this trip, this transition and everything 2015 has in queue for us (plus, I cannot wait to show you the new Letter Bag and Tote no.1 designs that we’re working on…they will be our best bags yet…eeek!!).
I hope you’ll keep with me for this next stage of my life, Moop and for the journey this week. All of it, the life, the Moop, the trip are going to be so much fun.
Many many hugs and lots and lots of kisses,
p.s. While we're traveling through the US countryside, we are offering FREE US SHIPPING at www.moopshop.com Simply enter the code: PGHPDX and you'll get free UPS Ground shipping within the United States. Starting now through Saturday, January 17th, 2015.